The Constellation Scorpius, the Scorpion
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More than any other constellation, Scorpius resembles its given name.
If you live in the northern hemisphere of the Earth, Scorpius crawls
across the southern sky, close to the horizon. But if you live in the
southern hemisphere, it passes high in the sky. The bright star
marks the heart of the arachnid, and its long curving tail
trails to the south. The scorpion once had claws, but they were
cut off by Julius Ceasar to form the constellation Libra.
Where stars are concerned, whatever you are looking for, you can
probably find it in Scorpius. Antares is an unmistakable, brilliant
red supergiant star at the heart of the scorpion. One of the largest,
brightest globular clusters
in the sky is in Scorpius.
The scorpion holds an infamous place in Greek mythology as the slayer
of Orion. One story tells that Orion fled the scorpion by swimming the
sea to the island of Delos to see his lover, Artemis. Apollo, seeking
to punish Artemis, joined her and challenged her hunting skills, daring
her to shoot the black dot that approached in the water. Artemis won
the challenge, unknowingly killing her lover by doing so.
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